Kristen Won /Richardson Middle School 8th Grade
A big problem in the social world today is comparison. Comparison is constantly happening in society, and it can take a negative toll on teenagers and children today. A big factor playing in differentiation is social media. According to Greg Sterling, a contributor to Marketing Land, 72% of teens use social media several times a day. The numbers increase as time passes, and teenagers can’t help but compare themselves to others. Social media is deteriorating children’s mental health and self esteem.
How do people compare themselves on social media? First of all, body image is important for teenage girls. On social media, the expectation of a “perfect body” is set through airbrushed models and celebrities. 91% of people post pictures of themselves, according to Marketing Land. What happens next is girls, and even boys, look at these pictures and compare them to their own bodies. According to a recent study, depression and other disorders are linked to social media. Social media releases chemicals called dopamine into one’s body, which also has been found in cigarettes due to nicotine (Quality Health). Dopamine makes teenagers feel liked and causes them to get addicted to social media. While dopamine does make teenagers feel like they belong, other factors start to play in. Why am I not in this picture? Why does this girl look so much better than me? Why does he have better clothes?
Some unhealthy effects of social media on teenagers are anxiety, depression, and multiple eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorders (National Eating Disorders). Depression is a lot more extreme than just sadness. It can lead to circumstances as extreme as suicide. Eating disorders are fatal, and they are affecting more and more people. “Statistics show that 95 percent of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25” (Casa Palmera). Anorexia is a disorder in which people starve themselves in order to lose weight. However, after a period of starvation they crack and end up overeating. This repeats the cycle and is very unhealthy.
In conclusion, teenagers should be attentive online. They shouldn’t let others’ words affect their body image or self esteem. The less time they spend on social media, the more time they can have to do other, more productive things. If people limit their usage of social media, it can beneficially impact their lives.
<Kristen Won /Richardson Middle School 8th Grade